The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed

Carl Honoré. HarperOne, $25.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-06-112882-0
No more shortcuts, argues this scattershot primer on taking the hard way out. Journalist Honoré (In Praise of Slowness) deplores society’s addiction to the cheap, facile, shortsighted, clichéd “quick fix,” and insists that solving our knottiest problems requires long horizons, focused effort, complex strategizing, and deep thought. He applies this perspective to a slew of business and public policy case studies, including corporate turnarounds, the rehabilitation of chaotic ghetto schools, and Bogotá, Colombia’s celebrated bus system. Honoré’s readable but sketchy summaries glean useful insights from these examples, but no coherent approach gels from his contradictory mishmash of managerial buzz-concepts; readers are enjoined to both think holistically and fixate on details, to simultaneously embrace egoless collaborative teams, solitary introspection, and charismatic leaders. Disconcertingly, many of the nostrums he touts sound very much like cursory quick fixes: companies seeking technical breakthroughs can crowdsource them on a Web site instead of funding R&D programs; an online game called Chore Wars magically convinces kids and husbands to do their share of housekeeping; and “research suggests that just two minutes of reasoned reflection can help us look beyond our biases.” Honoré’s slowness paradigm feels like just another glib, split-second substitute for serious analysis. Agent: Patrick Walsh, Conville & Walsh (U.K.). (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/03/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
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Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-00-743041-3
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Hardcover - 328 pages - 978-0-00-742960-8
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